"It was your father who took money from Haryana for the SYL canal and sold off the interests of Punjab,” Capt. Amarinder Singh, said on Saturday, accusing Dy CM Sukhbir Badal of leveling atrocious charges against him in order to promote the vested Akali interests.
Lashing out at Sukhbir over his absurd allegations that he (Amarinder) had invited the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to loot the river waters of the state, Captain castigated the Akali leader for playing games with the sentiments of the people of Punjab with his misleading comments.
"As member of Parliament from the constituency, it was my duty to welcome the prime minister when she came to lay the foundation stone for SYL construction. This, however, did not in any way mean that I was supporting SYL," Captain Amarinder asserted. 'In fact it was I who had enacted the Punjab Termination of Water Agreements Act 2004,' he pointed out.
The PPCC president categorically rejected the Akali allegation he had presented a silver kassi/tasla for starting construction work for SYL, saying the only time he had ever donated a silver tasla for during the Kar Seva at Harminder Sahib in 1984.
Taking a dig at Sukhbir’s selective amnesia, Amarinder ridiculed the Akali leader’s claim that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had always stood up and fought for the rights of Punjab.
Captain put five posers to Sukhbir to expose the Akali Dal’s shameless lies, saying had Sukhbir done his homework he would not have come out with such ludicrous statements on a matter of such vital interest, and one which is so close to the hearts of the people of Punjab.
"Have you forgotten that it was the Akali Dal that was responsible for the original sin of inflicting the 2nd partition of Punjab with the reorgnisation of the State in 1966, leading to the water and other disputes between Haryana and Punjab?”
"Isn’t it true that the then Punjab Chief Minister Giani Zail Singh had in November 1976 lodged the first formal protest against apportionment of river waters with the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi but your father Parkash Singh Badal, in 1978, got two notifications bearing No.113/5/SYL and 121/5/SYL issued for acquisition of land for SYL on 20th February 1978?”
"Was it not your father, Parkash Singh Badal, whose government sent a letter No.7/78-1W-78/23617 to Haryana Government seeking release of Rs. 3.00 crore more for the SYL project on 4th July 1978?”
"Wasn’t it your lust for power that had caused you Akalis to launch agitations for the creation of the Punjabi Suba, leading to the death of several innocent people of the state?”
Charging Sukhbir with deliberately ignoring these important and recorded facts to unleash a dis-campaign against the Punjab Congress, Capt. Amarinder said, "You Akalis did not even have the guts to resign your coveted seats in Parliament and the State Assembly after the Supreme Court verdict on SYL, thus thoroughly exposing your total lack of concern for Punjab’s interests,”.
The onus of explaining and justifying lies on the Badals, said Amarinder, asking the Akali leadership why it had failed to pursue the legal battle in the Supreme Court with all the seriousness it deserved during the last 10 years of their rule. Was it because they thought a negative decision would help them raise the pitch during the elections, asked the Punjab Congress chief.
He questioned the contribution of the Akalis to Punjab, pointing out that this (on SYL issue) was third time he had resigned his seat in the interest of the people of Punjab and to fight for their rights. He had earlier quit his Parliament seat and also resigned from the Congress party during Operation Blue Star in 1984, and later from SAD in protest against Operation Black Thunder.
He dared Sukhbir and the other Badal family members to resign over the SYL issue, saying they had no moral right to continue in office while exhorting the people of Punjab to be ready for tough battles and supreme sacrifices on the issue.
"Why has Harsmirat Kaur Badal not resigned from the Union Cabinet? Is it because the Badals don’t want their rule of loot to end?” asked Amarinder, adding that the Congress was committed to bringing this saga of loot and plundering to an end and to rescue the state from their Akali mafia rule, led by the Badals and Bikram Singh Majithia.